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The Last Dragon Hardcover – October 2, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; 1St Edition edition (October 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786836369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786836369
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—Yorsh is the last of his kind, an elf child in a world that despises elves. He seeks warmth, food, and shelter but has found only cold, rain, and despair. When he meets two unlikely companionships-humans who help him in spite of their prejudices-Yorsh learns of a prophecy concerning the last dragon and the last elf: when these two break the circle there will be a new beginning. Yorsh is young and nearly helpless, and the two humans, Sajra and Monser, are first taken aback but soon charmed by his naïveté. The trio experience a host of comical misunderstandings that offset the dangerous situations they encounter in the Dark Mountains. Almost by chance, Yorsh stumbles across the dragon, but he finds that fulfilling the prophecy is steeped in complications. The second half of the book, set 13 years later, deals with these challenges. Readers will miss Sajra and Monser just as Yorsh does and will likely guess the identity of the human orphan girl before it is revealed and champion her role in the struggle. The solution to the prophecy is wrenching, but young fantasy fans will appreciate the many humorous touches and get caught up in this tale of strength and sacrifice.—Sarah Couri, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Yorsh, a little elf "born lately," is alone in a wet, cold world beset by intolerance (especially toward elves) when he encounters a gruff, human woman, whose sympathy is aroused by the forlorn Yorsh's lot. Together they set out in search of a dry land and meet a hunter who joins forces with them. They enter the human city of Daligar and are imprisoned because Yorsh is a hated elf. As they escape to avoid being hanged, Yorsh reads his destiny engraved on a wall: "When the last dragon and the last elf" come together, they will save the world. And so begins his quest for the last dragon. His adventures are juxtaposed with those of an orphaned human girl, whose fate is also represented in the prophecy. At times hilarious, at times poignant, and always entertaining, the story will grip young fantasy fans. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Funny, moving, and absolutely beautifully written.
D. Williams
This was a book that resonated with both myself and my 10 year old son.
It is one of those books you can't stop reading once started.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Ruth on January 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Yorsh is a young elf on his own in the world. The elf village that he lived in was destroyed in a flood caused by the continual rain, and now Yorsh, who is a very young child, has no one to help him. Elves are hated and feared by humans, but when Yorsh meets a human woman who is in equally desperate circumstances, she takes pity on him and helps him out. Later, they meet a human hunter who also joins the group. Hilarious misunderstandings ensue, as elves and humans think very differently. In one such episode, Yorsh, who is horrified at the thought of eating anything that thinks, brings the hunter's meal, a rabbit, back to life, much to the hunter's regret. As time goes on, Yorsh and the humans grow to understand and care for each other. When Yorsh discovers a prophecy involving the last elf and the last dragon, he begins to realize that his future may have some surprises in store.

This book caught me quite by surprise. When I read the description, I thought, "Elves..dragons..prophecy..yeah, yeah, seen it before." But really, The Last Dragon turned out to be quite different than what I expected. It's playful and funny, yet touching and poignant. de Mari is obviously smart, witty, and creative, and it shows in every word of this book. The initial misunderstanding between the elf and the humans is funny, but it could have easily turned into a one trick pony that would have eventually become tiresome. But de Mari is smart enough to not try to sustain it for the entire book. Instead, like a composer writing a symphony, she has created variations on the themes of perception and point of view throughout the book. As Yorsh grows, so does his understanding of the world and the other species around him.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kim Baccellia, "YA Books Central reviewer" on May 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
THE LAST DRAGON by Silvana De Mari is the story of a young elf named Yorshkrunsquarkljolnerstir, or Yorsh for short, who finds himself suddenly orphaned and alone after his village is destroyed by torrential waters. He is the earth's last elf.

But he also finds he's part of a prophecy.

He sets out to find the last dragon, who is also part of a prophecy. He must be able to decipher the prophecy in order to save the world from the Dark Age that has begun.

Wait, I can hear it now. Prophecy? Last dragon? Last elf? Puhlease...

That's what I thought too until I started reading. I found myself wanting to know more about Yorsh and his journey. This book is very well written. I especially loved how the author continues Yorsh's quest to understand his part in the prophecy while he's stuck in a tower with a temperamental dragon, who demands to be read stories about princesses, among other things.

This book is sure to gain fans of other dragon related books. I'm going to lend my copy to my nine-year-old neighbor Adela, who loves dragon tales.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Waring on January 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book was so wonderful! Last night as I devoured the last chapters, I was alternately laughing, gasping in fear, weeping tears of sadness, and finaly, weeping tears of joy. I can't remember the last time I read a book that moved me so deeply (and I read a LOT in my profession). This is the kind of book that you want to share with everyone you know. Magical, funny, touching, exciting, sad, and hopeful. I would recommend this book to any fan of fantasy, grades 5-8.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Bushe on August 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book caught me by surprise, I thought it was something my son would love, but this is a wonderful adventure full of bittersweet insight and tender romance.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra Richoux on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever wanted a dragon to explain the facts of life to an elf?

Unfortunately, the book doesn't go very far into that scene, but there is a good deal of fun to be had.

Yorshkrunsquarkljolnerstrink is the last elf. No, no need to say "bless you", that's his name. If you need the short form, you may call him Yorshkrunsquarkljolnerstri.

Oh, all right, we'll call him Yorsh.

Yorsh is the last elf. Running away from the now flooded elf camp, where he spent his first few years of life, he wanders, lost and hungry, until he meets humans Sonja and Monser. Despite prejudices, they take pity on the elf and protect him from those who wish to kill elves. In this post-apocalyptic world, people fear, like they often do, what they don't understand, and magic is far outside understanding. When Sonja, Monser, and Yorsh are captured in the city of Daligar, they are sentenced to hang, but Yorsh's magic allows them to escape. On their way out, he spots an old prophecy stating that when the last dragon and last elf meet, the rain that has been destroying the land will stop. Determined to take on this quest, Yorsh goes in search of the last dragon and begins a journey of learning and friendship, culminating in his founding a new society, free of oppression and built on strong ideals.

The Last Dragon is without a doubt a children's book. It's a cute read for an adult, but it will be most enjoyed by girls and boys between the ages of nine and twelve. The protagonist's maturity level is around that age and the themes of the book are loneliness and finding a purpose. I think there is a far higher amount of rereadability for this with younger age group than there is for me.
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